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Govt faces political dilemma over planned teachers' strike

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    Govt faces political dilemma over planned teachers' strike

    Dar es Salaam

    GOVERNMENT is facing a serious political dilemma in the midst of a nationwide teachers’ strike planned for Wednesday this week.

    Government thinking is that it cannot simply give in to the demands of the teachers and pay their outstanding arrears without verifying each individual claim.

    Yet if the state doesn’t pay up by the October 15 ultimatum, thousands of teachers across the country will go on strike, a move that could have serious political repercussions for the government of the day.

    Although the government is adamant that it cannot authorize payments without verifying the claims following massive fraud detected in many of the documents, union leaders have dismissed such a move as a delaying tactic.

    But analysts say the deeper question is whether President Jakaya Kikwete’s government can afford to allow the teachers to go on strike, a move that could trigger off thousands of workers in other sectors, such as public health, to follow suit.

    Teachers have declared a work stoppage demanding a pay rise and payment of long-standing arrears.

    To this effect, the Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU) yesterday dismissed repeated calls by the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Public Service Management), Hawa Ghasia, for teachers to call off the planned strike.

    ’’We have given the government ample time to address teachers’ problems, but it has not been showing any serious concern. Instead, the government has remained reluctant to pay teachers’ accumulated arrears,’’ the TTU President, Gratian Mkoba, told THISDAY in an interview.

    He said the 60-day ultimatum given to the government to settle teachers’ arrears was coming to an end, while the key issues still remain unresolved.

    Union leaders rebuffed the government’s position that the looming teachers’ strike was illegal, saying they followed all legal procedures needed for organizing a workers’strike and the government was well aware of every step taken towards it.

    ’’We are ready for the strike ... No one and nothing will stop us from carrying out the strike country wide,’’ he insisted.

    He added: ’’Teachers all across the country are determined to stop working to put pressure on the government to settle their claims.’’

    Mkoba said teachers throughout the country have already voted overwhelmingly in favour of the strike action.

    ’’All teachers throughout the country are determined to go through with the strike to send a firm message to the government that they are tired of unfulfilled promises regarding payment of the long accumulated arrears,’’ he said.

    He said the negotiations between government and teachers over the payment of arrears started long a go and the government has been giving empty promises, thus showing lack of seriousness in addressing teachers’ problems.

    Minister Ghasia said at the weekend in an interview with the state television broadcaster, TBC1, that the planned teachers’ strike was illegal.

    She said a document signed recently between the government and TTU officials expressed clearly that teachers should not conduct a strike since the process of verifying teachers’ names and claims was still ongoing.

    The government says the verification exercise would take at least six weeks to be concluded.

    ’’Government officials are busy going through teachers’ names and claims. After a month and a half, the process will be concluded and every claim will be paid,’’ she added.

    The minister urged teachers to call off their strike since students were currently sitting for various examinations, while others were preparing for other exams.

    Any strike action this week will cause serious disruptions to the examination calendar, she warned.

    In the meantime, government insiders say authorities have encountered massive fraud in many of the claims lodged by teachers, including forgery of documents in order to claim payments from the state.

    Well-placed sources say the government had also uncovered thousands of names of ghost teachers in the claims as fraudsters aim to cash in on the exercise.

    ’’Teachers who are proven to have forged documents will be taken to court to face criminal charges,’’ cautioned a senior government official who asked not to be named.
  2. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    13.10.2008 @04:45 EAT

    Govt threaten measure against teachers over planed strike
    By Michael Kimaro

    Teachers who will go on strike next Wednesday are risking a fierce action from the government as 'the boycott is illegal'.

    This has been said by the Minister for Education and Vocational Training Prof. Jumanne Maghembe in a press meeting at the ministry's office yesterday.

    Prof. Maghembe said the strike is illegal since all the grievances that submitted to the ministry have already sorted out by the government in different meeting with Teachers' Union of Tanzania (TTU) officials.

    "It is government's opinions that the strike will no longer be there as it has been stated by TTU officials and supported by teachers all over the country, there is no reason, if the strike will persist as planned then it will be illegal since government is dealing with some teacher's grievances", Prof. Maghembe said.

    "Government is urging teachers not to support the strike since there is every reasons for them not to support the strike as most of their grievances have already been dealt by the government and some which are not ready government is still working on them", the minister said.

    He said those are the grievances that teachers wanted government to work on them and so it has already worked on them there is no any other reasons for them to conduct their strike.

    Prof. Maghembe added that together with those grievances that government has already dealt with, the choice to strike at this time when students who have been taught by them at all these years are doing their final exams is not a wise choice at all.

    "A teacher is supposed to be a person with humanity and strong feeling about his students, to choose strike at this time is like to punish a student for unknown mistake which is not compared with that quality of a teacher", Prof. Maghembe said.

    He said he wants TTU leaders to think again of their decision to conduct strike all over the country for the wide benefits of their students, our nation and their own benefits.

    Teachers are supposed to think of all of these which for their own decisions choose to serve for, if they will reject government and parents will not understand them and purposely government is not support the strike, the Minster reiterated.

    Meanwhile TTU president Mr. Gratian Mukoba said government should not misunderstand teachers and people of Tanzania by threaten teachers because strike is their rights and there will no one to stop them from striking.

    He said government should leave teachers to express their feelings since they have already given government a lot of time to deal with teachers problem and they did not do that why at this time when teachers wants to strike.

    This problem between teachers and government has started on January 2008 for good person could solve it as soon as possible before this time, why it takes about ten months to be solved, Mr. Mukoba said.

    He said this does not stick into people's mind for small problem like this to take ten months to be solved unless there would some difficulties.

    If government could be kin on this issue there should not teachers with no classes, no status in the country, do they want to tell people that there is not teachers with such kind of qualification, the president added.

    He said those government claimed as they have been upgraded there have upgraded randomly without considering some factors to grade.

    �May 2008 government said had money to pay teachers from their budget and we TTU postponed the strike seems we could be paid as we had promised until when we gave them 60 days to sort out our problems then they came out, do they think we are fools?, Mr. Mukoba asked.

    He said apart from that we asked government to give TTU the names of teachers who have upgraded and those who have been paid their grievances and they did not do that, why they should not do that for approval.

    Teachers have had tolerated enough for all these years and now is a time for them to act because they are tired we different sweet language from government, he said.

    He added that government say there have already paid arrears for teachers without any problem, what about 8 billion shilling for salary, have they already paid too or they still approve?

    In all 21 regions teachers wants to strike and they are waiting for the day to come so that they can strike, we are starting with Pre- Nyerere day they we take our long holiday and whoever is going to punish either of the teacher we will deal with, Mr. Mukoba said.

    He said in October 2006 during teacher's day president Kikwete told them his government had enough amount of money to pay teachers all over the country but he wonder where the money gone or was that the language to pleas teachers or what.

    We still have a lot of problem and government needs not to wait teachers to call for strike then they should threat them, he said.

    Mr. Mukoba said for instance Karagwe education officer do not allow teachers to go for further education at the university of Dar es Salaam while they have already given the chance to join and when we asked him he said he will not allow to join University unless they sign for holiday without payment, is this the way government say has already sorted 100 per cent of all teachers grievances?

    The president asked government not to close people's eyes by blaming TTU to plan for strike which will affect both students and nation instead he wants government to fulfill all what he say and that the strike will show the nation the real picture of what is happening to them.

    January this year TTU wrote a letter to government urged to sort out all teachers grievances include upgrade teachers, delay in receiving salaries, to have teachers joint staff council, teachers service scheme and payroll unless they could call upon country strike.
  3. R

    Rwabugiri JF-Expert Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    Kwa taarifa zaidi ni kwamba serikali tumbo moto baada ya Ghasia kuja na Gasia zake za matamko yasiyo kuwa makini ya kupinga na kutoa vitisho kwa watakao goma!

    ILO imeijia juu serikali kutaka itoe ufafanuzi kwanini inazuia mgomo huo kwa vitisho wakati ni halali na serikali ilisha ridhia mikataba hiyo.

    Kama vile haitoshi serikali imezidi kujikoroga kwenda wafungulia kesi mahakama ya kazi walimu kwa kutaka kugoma! NMB walilipwa, wale TRLA walilipwa walimu je? kwanini?

    stay tuned kitaeleweka ! Walimu kazeni buti
  4. Halisi

    Halisi JF-Expert Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    Hivi pamoja na uhalali wa mgomo na haki za walimu, je, wana haki pia ya kughushi? Je, kuna siri gani katika CWT? Hivi munajua kwamba CWT wanapokea zaidi ya Sh bilioni moja kila mwezi? Kwa miezi michache tu wamepokea shilingi bilioni 5.7.

    Bado wanakusanya kodi ya Mwalimu House, etin kuna kampuni inaitwa Teachers Develepment Company inayokusanya fedha. Sasa hapa ujue iko kazi na hapa suala si walimu suala hapa ni Rais, Katibu Mkuu na Naibu Katibu Mkuu wa CWT ambao wananyang'anyia ulaji, na wanawatumia walimu kwamba wapeleke hata madai hewa na wao wanaona kuna fedha za bure. Sasa wanasema hata kama anadai mwalimu mmoja watagoma wakijua kuna walioghushi nyaraka na hawawezi kulipwa bila uhakiki nini maana yake. Tutetee haki lakini tusije kuingia mkenge na kutetea UFISADI wa CWT